Keeper of Corpses

I've been working on a post about reality, but it will be waiting in the wings as I deal with an actual, nefarious, and unavoidable reality.

 Remember the foot smell? It was suggested that it was the pipes, or the produce, or the Hooligan. Well, drain cleaner a-go-go to no avail. Sparkling clean kitchen, refrigerator, fruit basket (I even checked all my shoes because sometimes produce end up in there. Don't ask.) The Hooligan is an advanced little boy and he can generate some very mature smells for his stature, but alas, I have never known him to smell like a corpse. I sniffed him just in case.

 Yes, foot has progressed to corpse in the continuum of bad smells. Dead, rotting, bloated, reeking corpse in an, as yet, undisclosed location. It is beyond a mild "did you catch that whiff?" kind of smell. It is evil incarnate, winding its sticky fingers around the back of your neck and breathing its hot, fetid breath right up your nose. It assaults you. It bludgeons you with slime covered billy clubs and then kicks you while you lie there in a fetal position gasping for your life.

 I have long been convinced that there were hobos living in our garage, and now I think one of them has crawled under the house and expired. It may be a squirrel or a raccoon. Possibly a rat. Or neighbors keep chickens and you know what they say - where there're chickens... I don't suspect it's our resident donk-um ('possum the size of a donkey) because he died under our other neighbors' house last winter. It can't be a mouse. The stench is just far too large. So tomorrow will be spent in the crawlspace under the house, looking for remains among the mud and the shanty town that I'm positive exists down there.

 I have joked about this. The Chief Lou emailed me last week about an outstanding bill (it wasn't just great, it was outstanding!) and I promptly replied: "I've taken care of it. I put a horse's head in the appropriate bed." Sometimes I tell the monkeys to "hide the bodies" when we do that last-minute blitz clean before Daddy comes home. When the fire dies too soon and it's chilly in our bedroom, I tell the Chief Lou that I will warm up by slitting him open so he can be the Tauntaun to my Han Solo. I have joked about this. This isn't funny anymore.

 As I type, the Chief Lou and the monkeys are en route to the airport to pick up my mother-in-law, who will be spending a few days with us. I have an amiable relationship with her because her only son has been happy with me for nearly 15 years and I raise and feed two of her grandchildren, but she has always thought I was a little bit odd. I have lit heavily scented candles in every room of the house. I have burned incense. I have scrubbed all that can be scrubbed, including myself (just in case.) I have done everything short of calling in a priest for an exorcism, and yet it lingers. In a very few minutes I will have to welcome my mother-in-law into a house that smells like the lowest circle of hell (with heavily scented candles) and concede that I am, in fact, odd. Yes, that's me, your strange daughter-in-law: sewer of clothes, lover of underdogs, breast feeder of babies, protector of trees, eschew-er of make-up and bras, keeper of corpses.

 

Originally published on Periphery, where it doesn't usually smell this bad.

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